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Head of Human Rights Campaign Refuses to Resign, Says Org Wants Him Out Over Cuomo Ties

© Screenshot/Human Rights CampaignScreenshot captures image of Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David, who was recently enveloped in the Andrew Cuomo scandal after being named in the independent sexual harassment report.
Screenshot captures image of Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David, who was recently enveloped in the Andrew Cuomo scandal after being named in the independent sexual harassment report. - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.09.2021
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An independent probe into sexual harassment claims filed against former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo determined the state official had a history of sexual misconduct, having crossed the line and forced himself onto office aides. Although the findings eventually prompted his decision to resign, it also namechecked several others and raised alarms.
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Alphonso David issued a release on Sunday indicating that he would not be resigning from his post, even as organization officials want him to step aside in light of his ties to the Cuomo scandal.
The organization had previously launched an internal investigation after David had been named in the Cuomo probe as being consulted over an unpublished letter drafted by Cuomo staffers. The letter had attacked the credibility of Lindsey Boylan, one of the former staffers who voiced sexual harassment against Cuomo.
Although David had not signed off on the draft, he and Roberta Kaplan, the former leader of Time’s Up, had been named in the independent probe as having been consulted in the matter.
© AP Photo / D. Ross CameronRoberta Kaplan, left, a lead lawyer in Sines v. Kessler, and Amy Spitalnick, executive director of Integrity First for America, the nonprofit funding the lawsuit, pose for a photo in Atherton Calif., Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. Sines v. Kessler was brought by a group of plaintiffs against white nationalists involved in planning a 2017 rally in Charlottesville, Va. in which one counter-protester was killed and several others were injured.
Roberta Kaplan, left, a lead lawyer in Sines v. Kessler, and Amy Spitalnick, executive director of Integrity First for America, the nonprofit funding the lawsuit, pose for a photo in Atherton Calif., Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. Sines v. Kessler was brought by a group of plaintiffs against white nationalists involved in planning a 2017 rally in Charlottesville, Va. in which one counter-protester was killed and several others were injured. - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.09.2021
Roberta Kaplan, left, a lead lawyer in Sines v. Kessler, and Amy Spitalnick, executive director of Integrity First for America, the nonprofit funding the lawsuit, pose for a photo in Atherton Calif., Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. Sines v. Kessler was brought by a group of plaintiffs against white nationalists involved in planning a 2017 rally in Charlottesville, Va. in which one counter-protester was killed and several others were injured.
David’s weekend statement addressed the internal investigation that had been launched by HRC, and revealed that the probe determined the president had not committed any wrongdoing. However, with that said, David indicated that organization officials still wanted him out.
“I have now been privately contacted by the two co-chairs of the HRC board and their representatives, who informed me verbally that the review period has been completed, and that there is no indication of wrongdoing on my part,” David wrote.
“Despite this, they told me that the results of the independent review will not be shared with anyone - not me, and not the HRC community. It isn’t even clear from our conversations that a formal report actually exists.”
“Despite the lack of any findings, the board co-chairs have now asked me to consider resigning, not because of any wrongdoing, but because they feel the incident has been a ‘distraction’ for the organization,” he added.
David went on to explain that the push for him to be booted emerged after “two funders and a small handful of employees” had “expressed concern via email over the last several weeks.” Preferably, according to David, officials wanted his resignation submitted over Labor Day weekend in the hope of attracting “less media interest.”
© REUTERS / Office of Governor Andrew M. CuoNew York Governor Andrew Cuomo announces he will resign in this screen grab taken from a video released by the Office of the NY Governor, in New York, U.S.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announces he will resign in this screen grab taken from a video released by the Office of the NY Governor, in New York, U.S. - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.09.2021
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announces he will resign in this screen grab taken from a video released by the Office of the NY Governor, in New York, U.S.
“I have the support of too many of our employees, board members, and stakeholders to walk away quietly into the night. I am not resigning,” David emphasized. “The idea that this is a distraction is simply not right … the distraction would be calling for my resignation without providing the results of the review.”
Since the release of the damning Cuomo report, David was one of many individuals who backed calls for the disgraced governor to be booted from office. Although Cuomo eventually resigned, he never admitted to any wrongdoing, and only stated that many of his alleged offenses were a result of “generational” and “cultural” differences.
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